Field Journal Entry #4 Mt.Tamalpais

Coordinates: 37.9235° N, 122.5965° W

Mt.Tamalpais is a peak in Marin County, California, often considered symbolic of Marin County. We hiked along the Yolanda Trail near Phoenix Lake. There was a watershed, Marin municipal water district at the start of our hike and we saw the big artificial waterfall too. The trail was surrounded by the mountains with Coffeeberry, madrones, California bays, redwoods, and black oaks that were the species easy to find throughout the trail. The trail was little muddy but overall easy with some uphills.

Adiantum jordanii 

Adiantum jordanii, also known as California Maidenhair is a native perennial plants that is part of Pteridaceae family. It lives in relatively shaded hillsides and wet, moist woodland. It has leaves 20-50cm, blade 2-3 pinnate. They’re lobed often less than quarter way to base, generally with irregular lobes, margins at base converging at 90-180 degree. The dark stalk color often ending abruptly at base of ultimate segments and mid-vein forked into equal branches not along margin. Its stems are relatively thin and black.

Pedicularis densiflora

Pedicularis densiflora, also known as warrior’s plume is a native perennial plants that is part of Orobanchaceae family. The habit is soft to coarse brown hairy. The stem is around 6-55cm. Its leaves are basal 5-28cm, lance-oblong, segments 13-41cm, linear to ovate, doubly toothed to lobed. The inflorescence is 4-12cm, lower bracts larger than flowers. The flower is calyx about 8-15mm, generally hairy, corolla 23-36mm, straight, club-like, deep red to red purple. The fruit is about 8-13mm and the seed is 2.5-4.5mm, surface netted. It mostly live in dry chaparral, oak pine or yellow-pine forest. The flowering time is between March to May.

Iris macrosiphon

Iris macrosiphon, also known as ground iris, is a native perennial plant that is part of the Iridaceae family. It is a monocot, living in relatively sunny, grasslands, meadows or open woodlands. Habit is rhizome, blubs, fleshy roots. The leaves are 2-ranked in basal fan; it is reduced, often bract-like, without development of distal portion. Inflorescence is flat cyme, flowers can be 1 or more. The flower is perianth parts clawed, sepals generally wider than petals in multiples of three, spreading or reflexed, occasionally with white area in basal 3/4, this generally with smaller yellow area; petals erect; stamens free forming 3. The fruit loculicidal capsule, rounded or triangular. Seed generally compressed, pitted, light to dark brown.


We departed the parking lot around 1pm and arrived at the park around 1:45pm. It was quite a drive, and the weather was little chilly as there had been rain in the past weeks. This hike was not too difficult, except there were some big uphills. One thing I enjoyed the most was when we went up the hill to see the species Mimulus congdonii which Dr.Paul had found. It was very unique small pink flower but also it was good to look down the view up at the hill. The trail was little muddy and slippery so I was more careful when going down from the hill. We saw many familiar plants that we previously encountered such as coffeeberry, California bay, or Coastal sage brush. Overall I really enjoyed this hike and I hope I come back when the weather gets more dry and more flowers bloom.

Additional Photos

The artificial waterfall at the start of hike

The watershed at the beginning of trail

Diaplacus congdonii, Congon’s monkeyflower

Dudleya cymose, aka rock lettuce, part of family Crassulaceae

Primula hendersonii, aka shooting star


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *